Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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24 Hours in Birmingham,England.

Birmingham, UK
At the beginning of 2019, I wrote a post entitled 14 Places To Visit in the UK in 2019 with some travel inspiration for the year ahead. I've already booked our trip to the Cotswolds for the Easter and Bath, London and hopefully Liverpool in the summer. The first trip on the list for 2019, however, was to Birmingham.

Birmingham is an hour's drive from my home in Leicestershire so it's definitely accessible. The city has fantastic rail links from across the country and there are three rail stations within Birmingham to provide efficient travel in and out. It's the UK's second largest city after London, home to 1.1 million people, meaning it's a great place to explore. The city comes with a handful of museums, parks, amazing shopping spots and independent restaurants to get stuck into! There are loads to do and I feel as though during our day trip we got to know the city so much better. 

I know planning a visit to a new city isn't always easy and I definitely took inspiration from a host of places to help with my trip, including asking the people of Twitter for their top recommendations. If you're looking for an affordable trip to the city then there are some fantastic Hotels in Birmingham. I wanted to challenge myself to see what I could experience in 24 hours, I'm always up for a challenge to see more of a city I thought I knew pretty well! 

Food is an absolute necessity for any city trip and Birmingham is full of some great places, whatever you fancy. On our trip we decided to head to Church Street in search of Urban Cafe. An independent business since 2009 this place is in the ideal location to grab breakfast or just nip in for a coffee date with your friends during the week. I had been eyeing up their Brunch menu since the recommendation and I wasn't disappointed. Their American-style pancakes with Greek yoghurt and Berry compote was just what I needed before walking around the city. Jordan tucked into their Full English which definitely gave for food envy!

Some of the other Brunch or Coffee recommendations I got (and looked just as good) were Waylands Yard, Yorks Cafe and Damascena. 

Tim Hortons is a new addition in Birmingham, a Candian chain that sells a fantastic range of hot food, coffee and delicious doughnuts! We tucked into some of their Timbits and a cold drink to help keep us ticking on our day trip. I'd highly recommend their Frozen Lemonade, it's very tasty!

Birmingham really is the city to experience some culture. The city hosts over 5 theatres, including The Alexandra and Birmingham Hippodrome which are both fantastic venues to enjoy the best of British Theatre. For our latest trip, we decided to check out some of the extraordinary venues that provide an absorbing experience into Birmingham's rich and vibrant past, as well as showcasing world-class museum collections.

We decided to head to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Chamberlin Square. The venue first opened in 1885 and is housed in a Grade II listed city centre landmark building. It's quite the spectacle itself! With over 40 galleries to explore and a fantastic range of exhibitions too, you could definitely spend hours getting submerged into History. We particularly enjoyed a few of the exhibitions in the gallery! We loved exploring the fascinating story of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, The Birmingham History which told us all sorts about the people of this city and their contributions to society. Finally, we got up close to some of the art and objects from Ancient Egypt. It felt like I had taken a trip back to primary school where I loved learning about the gods and mummies! I was completely engrossed and spent at least 3 hours in this place marvelling over everything.

Entrance to the Museum is free so there is really no excuse not to pay it a visit!

If you enjoy Museums then the Thinktank, Birmingham's Science Museum and the National Motorcycle Museum look fantastic too.

Birmingham is a hotspot for shopping and there are loads on offer if you're looking to treat yourself or others. One of the hotspots for shopping is the Bullring, Grand Central and LinkStreet which have come together to become the shopping destination in Birmingham. Great Central is the newest addition to Birmingham, located above New Street Station and next door to the Bullring. Collectively there are over 200 shops to explore and I definitely had to visit their Forever21 branch on my visit.

We also decided to check out Nostalgia & Comics situated on Smallbrook Queensway. It's one of the oldest comic shops in the UK since it opened in 1977! I was so impressed by the vast range of graphic novels they had for sale and my boyfriend was in his elements as he looked through the shelves for some comics he'd like to get his hands on. The place also sells cult sci-fi books, collectables, action figures and toys.

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring more of Birmingham and can't wait to visit for more than a theatre trip. Have you been to Birmingham before?

*Collaboration. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
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  1. I absolutely love this post! I've lived in Birmingham all my life and we do have some great things to offer, especially after some of the recent works they've done here. My boyfriend and I have been to that museum a couple of times and we love it, plus it's free which is always a plus! Urban Coffee is my favourite place to go for a caramel latte, it's such a nice vibe in there and the coffee is amazing - I'm yet to try their food but it always looks incredible when it comes out. Timbits are so yummy aren't they?!

    Alice xx

    1. I know, it's definitely full of work atm, I couldn't believe how much was being done when we visited! Oh you definitely need to sample Urban Coffee's food, especially if you already love their Caramel latte's! Their food doesn't disappoint! :) xx

  2. I love Birmingham, it's such a great city. It has lots of incredible restaurants too!


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